Another Podcasting Q&A for you today, this time prompted by a customer of The Podcast Host's podcast production services.
We're currently working through launch and his question revolved around how to integrate podcasting within his existing website. It's something that comes up often as people look to bring podcasting into their wider content marketing mix. Let's have a look at the question:
I'm wondering how should organise the podcast pages on the website. Do you propose that all show notes get posted on the blog rather than a separate podcast section of the site…? I had assumed the latter but wasn’t sure which is better?
So, first thing – this is a very common confusion, and worth tackling. The issue is the difference between a page which is a podcast episode, and a page which is a blog post.
Here's the thing, there's no real difference between a blog post and a podcast post. A podcast post is a page on your blog/website which is made up of show notes and an audio file, and often with an audio player which allows you to play that audio file.
A blog post is pretty much exactly the same thing, minus the audio file. This is because show notes should really function as a blog post with a bit of audio attached.
Helping People to Find Your Podcast Via Show Notes
So, show notes as a blog post. There are a few reasons for this.
Firstly, people who find you via the search engines, and come across your website will tend not to be podcast listeners already. They'll find you via the text within the show notes, as indexed by Google.
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Once they find you, it's then your job to talk them into listening by outlining, in the show notes, how valuable the episode is.
Those people that go to the show notes FROM the podcast, ie. those who are already listeners, will tend to just be looking for resource links. So they don't mind too much what's there as long as there's a link to everything you mentioned on the show.
Next, another reason to treat a podcast post as a full-on blog post is simple content marketing. The one disadvantage of Podcasts is that, being audio, they can't be indexed by the search engines (yet). So, in order to help yourself be found, and to build the value of your website and brand long-term, you need to write a decent bit of text content around the episode.
This gets across the topic and makes it more likely people searching for that particular topic will end up at your podcast episode.
How You Can Split Out Your Blog and Podcast Content
It is possible to split the two post types out on your website if you'd like to make that delineation, but most of the time publishers will mix text posts and podcast posts within the main content stream. The reasoning is that it's all content – you don't really want to hold things back if you think they're valuable.
A nice way to do it is to have both on your front page, on the main stream, and then to have a Podcast link at the top which shows only podcast episodes.
This is because some people might be looking for podcasts specifically, and only want to view posts with audio attached. Whereas, if people are looking for text content, your show notes should be nearly as valuable as your blog posts, certainly if the person is then directed into clicking the play button.
You could do the same with a blog link in the menu bar too, showing only text posts when someone clicks on that, but, the same thing applies; I think podcast posts should be as valuable to a reader as blog posts, and so shouldn't be hidden away from that stream of content.
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